Marketing Magic Comes Before Sales

If you are like most business owners when it comes to marketing, you’ll be unsure of what works and what doesn’t or at worst, you’ll have a long list of things that don’t work because you’ve wasted thousands over the years. Well here are a couple of key facts to help us feel confident about our marketing:

  1. Marketing is predictable: If I get a mailing list and write to the first 100 names and get 3 enquiries; I can be pretty sure that I will get in the order of 30 enquiries if I send the same letter to the next 1000 on the list! If I invite 20 past customers to an evening reception at my shop to launch my summer range of designer shoes and I get 5 acceptances; I’m going to get around 50 acceptances if I invite 200 past customers!
  2. Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive: Now I know it’s predictable, I can do small marketing campaigns and repeat and extend the ones that work.

So here are the tips:

  1. Commit to test at least one new campaign per week or month depending on your business. This needs to be small. Send 100 letters, make 30 phone calls, send 100 emails, and increase the prices on one product line….
  2. Measure the enquiries you generate.
  3. Do more of what works! And continue to test and measure.


Why competition is good… I used to hear people say, competition is a good thing and think they were mad! But here’s a test for you: You are looking at a busy street and you want to open a new gourmet burger restaurant. There are two vacant premises. One is situated at the end of the street between a book store and a chemist and opposite a small supermarket. The other premises is at the other end of the street between a McDonalds and a Burger King and opposite a Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant. Which unit will you choose for your new venture? Lots of people opt for the one next door to the book shop on the basis that because there is no competition, they will ‘clear up’. Sadly what these people find is that they struggle because all the hungry people are at the other end of the street because the big chains have huge marketing budgets. The smart person opens their gourmet burger bar between McDonalds and Burger King but instead of competing directly, they differentiate their offer and say – look, these guys are great, but if you fancy paying a little more for a gourmet burger experience then give us a try! Let McDonalds and Burger King build your footfall for you – then all you have to do is offer something a little different.

Marketing advice to help you prosper in tough times: The lesson we have learned from past recessions is that we must continue to market. Those that do, will be the winners. They win during the recession and perhaps more importantly, they win even more after. With this in mind, below are the reasons people buy from the people they buy from. This gives us an important insight into how to gain and retain customers. In reverse order, the top five reasons were as follows:

  • Price: During tough economic times, contrary to what some might say, price is even less important. Customers do become much more value focussed though. If your customers are arguing the price either they can not afford you (so stop selling) or they do not see the value in what you are proposing.
  • Range or Selection: Having an enormous range is not the point here. Make sure you understand your customers well enough to offer them the choice they want.
  • Product / service quality: . The features of the product or service are important to your clients. They want to know how it will deliver the benefits highlighted in your marketing campaigns. Make sure you are good at what you do.
  • Customer Service: Specifically, this means doing what is required to make sure your product or service does what it says on the tin. Sometimes we fall short of this. When we do is the time to go the extra mile.
  • Confidence: Here we are – the biggest reason people buy from us is because they have confidence in us to meet their need better than our competitors. You need to maintain this confidence with regular contact so your customers remember that you care. Our own research has shown that 68% of customers who leave, do so because of perceived indifference. If you care about your customers; make sure you show it.

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